Thursday, September 20, 2018

[Mammalogy • 2018] Diversity, Morphological Phylogeny, and Distribution of Bats of the Genus Molossus E. Geoffroy, 1805 (Chiroptera, Molossidae) in Brazil


Molossus molossus (Pallas, 1766) 
[Velvety Free-tailed Bat] in Rio Doce State Park, Brazil

in Loureiro, Gregorin & Perini, 2018
 Photo: Marco A. R. Mello. instagram.com/marmello77 

Tenuous descriptions of many species and subspecies of mastiff bats make the taxonomy of Molossus E. Geoffroy, 1805 confusing and unstable. Molossus is one of the most diverse genera of free tailed bats in the pantropical family Molossidae Gervais, 1856. Given their impressive variation due to geography, sex, and ontogeny, and incomplete knowledge about species boundaries, a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus is needed. In addition, the level of genetic divergence, even among morphologically well-characterized species is low, often making diagnosis of groups difficult and likely resulting in an underestimation of the number of species. Brazil has a wide territory harboring many different physiognomies, but with no study focusing on the morphological variation and taxonomy of Molossus available. Therefore, we have analyzed qualitative and quantitative characters from 493 specimens belonging to nine species of Molossus, and conducted a wide comparative morphological analysis of the species occurring in Brazil. In addition, we propose a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships within Molossus based on morphology, establishing the morphological characters for diagnosis and identification of species, and update the geographic distribution of Molossus species in Brazil, with range extensions for four taxa. Six species, Molossus rufus E. Geoffroy, 1805, Molossus molossus (Pallas, 1776), Molossus coibensis Allen, 1904, Molossus aztecus Saussure, 1860, Molossus currentium Thomas, 1901, and Molossus pretiosus Miller, 1902 occur in Brazil. We bring support for the synonymy of Molossus bondae Allen, 1904 with M. currentium, as suggested by several authors.

KEYWORDS: Brazil, Mastiff bats, morphology, identification key, phylogenetic relationships.


Livia Oliveira Loureiro, Renato Gregorin and Fernando Araujo Perini. 2018. Diversity, Morphological Phylogeny, and Distribution of Bats of the Genus Molossus E. Geoffroy, 1805 (Chiroptera, Molossidae) in Brazil. ZOOSYSTEMA. 40(18); 425-452.  

[Herpetology • 2018] A Phylogenetic Ttaxonomy of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis Group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with Descriptions of Two New Species from Myanmar; Cyrtodactylus meersi & C. myintkyawthurai


Cyrtodactylus meersi  &  C. myintkyawthurai
Grismer​, Wood, Quah, Murdoch, Grismer, Herr, Espinoza, Brown & Lin, 2018


Abstract
A phylogenetic taxonomy of species in the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group from the Ayeyarwady Basin of Myanmar is constructed based on color pattern, morphology, and molecular systematic analyses using the mitochondrial gene NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2. Newly collected samples from the type locality of C. peguensis and other localities indicate that this clade is endemic to central Myanmar and contains at least seven species, four of which are undescribed. Three species, including C. peguensis occur in the low hills of the Bago Yoma Range within the central portion of the Ayeyarwady Basin. Two of these, Cyrtodactylus myintkyawthurai sp. nov. from the northern and central Bago Yoma and Cmeersi sp. nov. which is syntopic with Cpeguensis in the southern Bago Yoma are described herein. As more lowland hilly areas bordering, and within the Ayeyarwady Basin are surveyed, more new species of this group are likely to be discovered. These discoveries continue the recent surge of descriptions of new species of Cyrtodactylus that are being discovered in Myanmar.

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Figure 1: Distribution map of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group. Distribution of the species of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group in the Ayeyarwady Basin and the adjacent foothills of the Chin Hills and Shan Hills in Myanmar.


Figure 5: Type specimens and additional specimen of Cyrtodactylus peguensis.
(A) Boulenger’s (1893) illustration of the lost syntype from the type locality of Hpa Lon, Bago Region Myanmar. (B) Syntype BM 946.8.23.10 from the type locality. (C) LSUHC 13454 from the Myin Mo Shwe Taung Pagoda, 9.5 km east of Hpa Lon, Bago Region Myanmar.
Photos by L. Lee Grismer.

Cyrtodactylus peguensis (Boulenger, 1893)
Pegu Bent-toed Gecko
Gymnodactylus peguensis Smith, 1921:29; 1935:52 in part. Wermuth, 1965:63 in part.
Cyrtodactyuls peguensis Taylor, 1963:728 in part; Denzer & Manthey, 1991:314 in part; Cox, Van Dijk & Nabhitabhata, 1998:87 in part; Pianka & Vitt, 2003:175 in part; Manthey & Grossmann, 1997:225 in part; Das, 2010:213 in part; Grismer et al., 2017a:91 in part; Brennan et al., 2017:3, in part.
Cyrtodactylus (Cyrtodactylyspeguensis Rösler, 2000:66 in part.

Syntype. Adult male BM 1946.8.23.10 collected in 1887 by Signor L. Fea from “Palon” (Hpa Lon), “Pegu” (Bago Region), Taikkyi Township, Yangon (north) District, Myanmar. Hpa-Lon is a small village in the Ayeyarwady Basin 9.5 km west of the western foothills of the southern portion of the Bago Yoma Range where Fea reported making zoological collections (Fea, 1897). Being that foothills are the closest suitable habitat for C. peguensis east of Pa-Lon, we restrict the type locality to the Myin Mo Swhe Taung Pagoda, Bago Region, Taikkyi Township, Yangon (north) District, Myanmar (..., elevation 162 m) situated within these foothills where we collected an additional specimen (LSUHC 13454). The other syntype could not be located.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus peguensis differs from other species of the peguensis group by having the unique combination of seven supralabial and infralabial scales; 31 or 32 paravertebral tubercles; 17–19 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; 36 or 37 ventral scales; 19 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 17–19 femoral pores in males; eight precloacal pores in males; three rows of post-precloacal scales; and domed to weakly conical and weakly keeled body tubercles; and a maximum SVL of 70 mm (Table 7).


Figure 7: Holotype of Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov. (LSUHC 13455) from the type locality of the Myin Mo Shwe Taung Pagoda, Bago Division, Myanmar.
Photo by L. Lee Grismer.

Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov.
Bago Yoma Bent-toed Gecko

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov. differs from other species of the peguensis group by having the unique combination of seven supralabials and eight infralabials; 32 paravertebral tubercles; 13 longitudinal rows of body tubercles; 32 ventral scales; 17 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 12 femoral pores; eight precloacal pores; two rows of post-precloacal scales; and domed to weakly conical and weakly keeled body tubercles (Table 7). We note, however, that this diagnosis is not robust due to having only a sample size of one juvenile and will be subject to adjustment if additional specimens are ever collected and analyzed. Nonetheless, the placement of this individual near the base of the phylogeny (Fig. 2) and it having an uncorrected percent sequence divergence of 10.0–13.7% from all other species in the phylogeny (Table 3) is strong evidence of its species status.

Distribution. Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov. is known only from the type locality of Myin Mo Shwe Taung Pagoda, 9.5 km east of the village of Hpa Lon, Bago Region, Taikkyi Township, Yangon (north) District Myanmar (Fig. 1).

Etymology. The specific epithet, meersi, is named in honor of Mr. John Meers whose generous private donations to Fauna & Flora International’s in the name of karst conservation have resulted in the continuation of karst biology research in Indochina.

Natural History. The holotype was collected in a region composed of low foothills and highly disturbed forest (Fig. 6). The specimen was encountered at 2,000 h as it was sitting in the middle of an ant trail, presumably preying on the ants. The fact that the specimen is a juvenile suggests the reproductive season is prior to May.



Cyrtodactylus myintkyawthurai sp. nov.
Mt. Popa Bent-toed Gecko
Cyrtodactylus fea Wood et al., 2012:995; 
Agarwal et al., 2014:147; Brennan et al., 2017:3.


Figure 8: Type specimens of Cyrtodactylus myintkyawthurai sp. nov. from the type locality of Taung Twin Chaung camp, Mt. Popa, Kyauk-pa-taung Township, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.
 (A) Adult male holotype LSUHC 13808. (B) Adult male paratype LSUHC 13807. (C) Subadult male paratype 13806. (D) Juvenile male paratype LSUHC 13809.
Photos by L. Lee Grismer.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus myintkyawthurai sp. nov. differs from other species in the peguensis group by having the unique combination of six or seven supralabials and six or seven infralabials; 28–33 paravertebral tubercles; 17–23 longitudinal rows of body tubercles; 32–36 ventral scales; 17–19 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 12–20 femoral pores in males; 7–9 precloacal pores in males; two rows of post-precloacal scales; raised, moderately to strongly keeled body tubercles; and a maximum SVL of 75.1 mm.

Distribution. Cmyintkyawthurai sp. nov. ranges throughout Mt. Popa, Mandalay Region and the central section of the Bago Yoma Range, Bago Region (Fig. 2).

Etymology. The specific epithet, myintkyawthurai, is a patronym honoring Myint Kyaw Thura for his contributions to the study of herpetology in Myanmar, his discovery of several new species, and his collaboration with foreign researchers.

Natural History. At both Mt. Popa and in the central Bago Yoma Range, C. myintkyawthurai sp. nov. occurs in hilly regions covered in deciduous dipterocarp forest up to 978 m in elevation (Fig. 9). The Mt. Popa specimens were collected at night from 0.05 to 1 m above the ground on rocks, the trunks of small trees, on leaves or on the ground amongst small rocks.



Conclusions: 
A phylogenetic taxonomy of species in the Cyrtodactylus peguensis species group from the Ayeyarwady Basin of Myanmar recovers at least seven species, four of which are undescribed. Three species, including C. peguensis occur in the low hills of the Bago Yoma mountain range one of which, C. meersi sp. nov., is syntopic with C. peguensis. As more lowland hilly areas associated with the Ayeyarwady Basin are surveyed, more new species of this group are likely to be discovered. These discoveries continue the recent surge of descriptions of new species of Cyrtodactylus that are being discovered in Myanmar.


L. Lee Grismer​, Perry L. Wood Jr, Evan S.H. Quah, Matthew L. Murdoch, Marta S. Grismer, Mark W. Herr, Robert E. Espinoza, Rafe M. Brown and Aung Lin. 2018.  A Phylogenetic Ttaxonomy of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis Group (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with Descriptions of Two New Species from Myanmar.  PeerJ. 6:e5575. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5575

[Botany • 2018] Miliusa chantaburiana (Annonaceae) • A New Species from southeastern Thailand


Miliusa chantaburiana Damthongdee & Chaowasku

in Damthongdee & Chaowasku, 2018.
 DOI:  10.3372/wi.48.48208 

Abstract 
Miliusa chantaburiana Damthongdee & Chaowasku, a new species of Annonaceae from SE Thailand, is described and illustrated. It belongs to a clade with campanulate flowers and inner petals that are generally tightly appressed from the base to more or less the midpoint at anthesis. The new species is remarkable in possessing a strongly recurved apex of the inner petals at anthesis and can be principally differentiated from its morphologically closest species, M. pumila Chaowasku and M. filipes Ridl., both from Peninsular Thailand, by the higher number of stamens and carpels per flower and horseshoe-shaped stigmas. Miliusa chantaburiana is also unique in having a 6-base-pair insertion in the plastid matK sequence. A revised key to species in the campanulate-flowered clade in Thailand is given.

Keywords: Annonaceae, Chantaburi, matK, Miliusa, Miliuseae, new species, systematics, taxonomy, Thailand


Fig. 2. Leaf and flower of Miliusa chantaburiana 
A: abaxial (lower) leaf surface; B: adaxial (upper) leaf surface; C: flower, apical view showing stamens, carpels, inner petal discolouration and translucent window-like structures; D: flower, oblique view showing strongly recurved apical part of inner petals.

 – Scale bars: A = 2 cm; B = 10 cm; E = 1 mm; F = 0.5 mm. 
– A, B from cultivated material; C–F from Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 29 (CMUB – spirit material).



Miliusa chantaburiana Damthongdee & Chaowasku, sp. nov.  

Holotype: Thailand, cultivated in Bangkok [sapling originally from Khiri Than Dam, Chantaburi Province], 7 Feb 2015 [in flower], Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 29 (CMUB!; isotypes: B!, P!).

Diagnosis — Miliusa chantaburiana is morphologically close to M. pumila and M. filipes, both occurring in Peninsular Thailand (Chaowasku 2014). The new species differs mainly from M. pumila by having generally larger leaf blades ([9.2–] 12.2–18[–19.5] x [2.8–]3.3–6 cm vs 5.4–10.5 x 2–4.1 cm), generally longer pedicels ([11–] 14–22[–30] mm vs 5–11 mm), more stamens per flower (48–50 vs 38–39), and many more carpels per flower (49–71 vs 12–13). The new species primarily differs from M. filipes by possessing considerably more stamens (48–50 vs c. 22) and carpels (49–71 vs c. 16) per flower. In addition, M. chantaburiana exhibits horseshoe-shaped stigmas, whereas they are subglobose to ellipsoid(-obovoid) in M. pumila (Chaowasku 2014) and capitate in M. filipes.
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Fig. 1. Holotype of Miliusa chantaburiana Damthongdee & Chaowasku, Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 29 (CMUB).

Fig. 2. Leaf and flower of Miliusa chantaburiana – 
A: abaxial (lower) leaf surface; B: adaxial (upper) leaf surface; C: flower, apical view showing stamens, carpels, inner petal discolouration and translucent window-like structures; D: flower, oblique view showing strongly recurved apical part of inner petals; E: stamens attached to torus; F: carpel.
 – Scale bars: A = 2 cm; B = 10 cm; E = 1 mm; F = 0.5 mm. 
– A, B from cultivated material; C–F from Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 29 (CMUB – spirit material).


Fig. 3. Flower, fruit and seed of Miliusa chantaburiana 
A: abaxial surface (outside) of an inner petal; B: adaxial surface (inside) of an inner petal; C: flower, basal view showing sepals and outer petals; D: fruit with five monocarps; E: flower with one inner petal pulled apart from others showing a mass of stamens and carpels; F: seed.
 – Scale bars: A, B, E, F = 5 mm; C = 3 mm; D = 2 cm.
 – A, B, E from Chaowasku 170 (CMUB – spirit material); C from Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 29 (CMUB – spirit material); D from Chaowasku 171 (CMUB – spirit material); F from Nakorn-Thiemchan NTC 28 (CMUB – spirit material).

Distribution and ecology (at original locality) — Chantaburi Province, SE Thailand (Fig. 4); occurring in partially disturbed evergreen forests around a constructed dam; at an elevation of c. 205 m.

Conservation status — This species is known only from a very restricted area, i.e. around Khiri Than Dam of Chantaburi Province, SE Thailand (Fig. 4). Fewer than 10 individuals were observed in the area, some of which occur adjacent to the reservoir and could be submerged in the near future, and it is believed that many more individuals have been submerged during dam construction. Further, this species has never been reported to occur in nearby areas (e.g. Khao Khitchakut National Park, Khao Soidao Wildlife Sanctuary, Namtok Phliu National Park and Namtok Khlongkaew National Park) and no specimens have been collected prior to the present study. Based on this information, Miliusa chantaburiana is undoubtedly a rare species; however, we believe that more exploratory data, especially from Cambodia (which is merely c. 20 km away from the dam), are required prior to the assessment of the conservation status of this species. Therefore, it is considered here as Data Deficient (DD) (IUCN 2012).

Etymology — The epithet refers to Chantaburi, the SE Thai province where this species is endemic.


Anissara Damthongdee and Tanawat Chaowasku. 2018. Miliusa chantaburiana (Annonaceae), A New Species from SE Thailand. Willdenowia. 48(2); 293-301. DOI:  10.3372/wi.48.48208

    


    


[Crustacea • 2018] Identity of the Tree-Spider Crab, Parasesarma leptosoma (Hilgendorf, 1869) (Decapoda: Brachyura: Sesarmidae), with Descriptions of Seven New Species from the Western Pacific


Parasesarma macaco
 Li, Rahayu & Ng, 2018


Abstract
The identity of the tree-spider crab, Parasesarma leptosoma (Hilgendorf, 1869) (family Sesarmidae), which is believed to be widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific, is reassessed and shown to be a species-complex with nine species, seven of which are here described as new. Parasesarma leptosoma sensu stricto is now restricted to South and East Africa; and P. limbense (Rathbun, 1914) from Sulawesi, which had been regarded as a junior synonym, is here recognized as a valid species. The following species are described as newP. gecko n. sp. from Vanuatu, Fiji, Guam and Japan; P. macaco n. sp. from Taiwan and the Philippines; P. kui n. sp. from Taiwan; P. parvulum n. sp. from the Philippines; P. gracilipes n. sp. from Indonesian Papua; P. purpureum n. sp. from Malaysia; and P. tarantula n. sp. from Sulawesi, Indonesia. The nine species of the Parasesarma leptosoma species-complex can be separated by the different shapes of their carapaces, the form of the dactylar tubercles on the male chelipeds, proportions of their ambulatory legs and the structure of the male first gonopod.

Keywords: Crustacea, Parasesarma, tree-climbing, species-complex, new species, taxonomy

....

Superfamily Grapsoidea MacLeay, 1838
Family Sesarmidae Dana, 1851
Genus Parasesarma De Man, 1895

Parasesarma leptosoma (Hilgendorf, 1869)

Parasesarma limbense (Rathbun, 1914)

Parasesarma gecko n. sp. 

Etymology. The specific epithet alludes to the new species’ quick movements on vertical surfaces and its tendency to autotomise its appendages when handled, as also observed in the eponymous lizard. The name is used here as a noun in apposition.

 Parasesarma macaco n. sp. Pingtung (Paoli River), Taiwan

Parasesarma macaco n. sp.

Etymology. Derived from the Portuguese "macaco" meaning “monkey”. It alludes to the agility of this treeclimbing species and its habit of jumping around branches. The name is used as a noun in apposition.


Parasesarma kui n. sp. 

Etymology. Named for Mr. Ching-Fang Ku, a ranger in the Kenting National Park and specialist of land crab conservation. The type locality of P. kui n. sp., Kangkou River, is found in his home village of Kangkou.


Parasesarma gracilipes n. sp. 

Etymology. The name is derived from the Latin "gracilis" (slender) and "pes" (legs), referring to the slender ambulatory legs of the species.


Parasesarma purpureum n. sp. 

Etymology. From the Latin purpureum for “purple” with reference to the general colour of the new species.


Parasesarma parvulum n. sp. 

Etymology. The name parvulum derives from the Latin word, meaning young or small, alluding to the relative small size of the present species.


Parasesarma tarantula n. sp. 
Etymology. The name is from the old Italian common name for large spiders, tarantula. The use of the name here alludes to the tree-climbing habits of the new species, similar to many species of tarantula, some of which are also found in Sulawesi. Used as a noun in apposition.


 Jheng-Jhang Li, Dwi Listyo Rahayu and Peter K. L. Ng. 2018. Identity of the Tree-Spider Crab, Parasesarma leptosoma (Hilgendorf, 1869) (Decapoda: Brachyura: Sesarmidae), with Descriptions of Seven New Species from the Western Pacific. Zootaxa. 4482(3); 451–490. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4482.3.2

[Ichthyology • 2018] Speolabeo hokhanhi • A New Cavefish (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from Central Vietnam


Speolabeo hokhanhi
Tao, Cao, Deng & Zhang, 2018

Hokhanh’s Blind-cavefish  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4476.1.10 

Abstract
Speolabeo hokhanhi, new species, is here described from Hang Va Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (Son River basin) in Central Vietnam. It can be distinguished from S. musaei by having no papillae on the lower lip, no hump immediately behind the head, a duckbilled snout, a shorter caudal peduncle (length 16.8–18.6% SL), and the pelvic fin inserted closer to the snout tip than to the caudal-fin base.

Keywords: Pisces, Speolabeo, new species, cavefish, Central Vietnam


FIGURE 2. Speolabeo hokhanhi sp. nov., fresh individual immediately after capture. Lateral view.

Speolabeo hokhanhi sp. nov.

Diagnosis. Speolabeo hokhanhi can be easily distinguished from S. musaei by having a lower lip without papillae (vs. with a band of papillae along its anterior margin), no hump immediately behind the head (vs. present), a duckbilled (vs. pyramidal) snout, the pelvic fin inserted closer to the snout tip than to the caudal-fin base (vs. midway between the snout tip and caudal-fin base) and a shorter (vs. longer) caudal peduncle (length 16.8–18.6% SL vs. 19.6–22.7). All data here used for S. musaei are from Kottelat and Steiner (2011).
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Etymology. The specific epithet is named in honor of Mr. Ho Khanh who discovered many caves in Phong Nha–Ke Bang National Park. He was a local guide of the cavefish survey conducted by the first author during 2014 into the cave where the type specimens were collected and provided detailed information about the collection site.
 As common names, we suggest Hokhanh’s Blind-cavefish (English) 
and cá mù hang va hồ-khanh (Vietnamese).


 FIGURE 4. Distribution of Speolabeo hokhanhi (▲).

Distribution and habitat. Speolabeo hokhanhi is known only from the type locality (Fig. 4). Hang Va Cave is roughly 35 km south of Phong Nha village, rather close to Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest known cave that is 5 km long, 200 m high and 150 m wide. A 24 km southward drive along the West Ho–Chi–Minh highway starting from the tourism center of the Phong Nha–Ke Bang National Park leads to the point closest to the cave site of the Hang Son Doong. From there, roughly 1.5 hours’ northward walk following a narrow stony track through thick forest arrives at Hang Va Cave. Its entrance is about 30 meters above the ground. A descent of 15 m from the entrance reaches a cave passage containing a subterraneous stream. Downstream for approximately 200 meters, there is a shallow water pool with many stalagmites, usually 2–3 m tall (Fig. 5), where the type specimens of the new species were collected during the dry season. At this time, the pool had a muddy substrate and was 0.5–1.5 m in depth, 10 m wide, and 25 m long. More than 30 individuals of about the same size were observed in the pool; only six were captured using a hand-net. The fishes were swimming slowly and haphazardly, rather close to the water surface; when disturbed, they swam deeper, but did not seek shelter. A new shrimp species was found to sympatrically occur with the cavefish (Do & Nguyen 2014).


Nguyen Dinh Tao, Liang Cao, Shuqing Deng and E Zhang. 2018. Speolabeo hokhanhi, A New Cavefish from Central Vietnam (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Zootaxa. 4476(1); 109–117.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4476.1.10
  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Systematic Revision of Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Western Ghats adds Two Genera and Reveals Two New Species


Monilesaurus acanthocephalus &  M. montanus 
 Pal, Vijayakumar,  Shanker,  Jayarajan & Deepak, 2018


Abstract  
Lizards of the genus Calotes are geographically restricted to South Asia, Indo-China and parts of Southeast Asia. The greatest diversity of the genus is from the biodiversity hotspots in South Asia: Western Ghats (Peninsular India), Sri Lanka and Indo-Burma. Here, we present a systematic revision of members of the genus Calotes from Peninsular India using a combination of molecular phylogeny, geographical distribution and morphological characters. We show that Calotes from the Western Ghats is paraphyletic and consists of three major clades, one of which is widely distributed in South and Southeast (SE) Asia, while the others are restricted to Peninsular India. The Peninsular Indian clade is composed of two sister clades: Psammophilus, with a wider distribution and a second clade, composed of two extant species, Calotes rouxii and Calotes ellioti and two new species, all restricted to the Western Ghats region. Based on morphological differences, we retain the generic status of Psammophilus and assign its sister clade to a new genus Monilesaurus gen. nov. and transfer the following species, C. rouxii and C. ellioti, to this new genus. We also provide diagnoses and descriptions for two new species recognized within Monilesaurus gen. nov. In addition, Calotes aurantolabium from the Western Ghats was observed to be deeply divergent and to share a sister-relationship with the clade composed of CalotesMonilesaurus gen. nov., and Psammophilus. Based on its phylogenetic position and morphological attributes, we assign this species to a new genus Microauris gen. nov. These new discoveries highlight the evolutionary significance of the Western Ghats in housing novel lizard diversity.

Keywords: Reptilia, Agamidae, Calotes, new genus, MicroaurisMonilesaurusPsammophilus, Western Ghats


 Family Agamidae
Subfamily Draconinae  

Calotes Cuvier, 1817
Lacerta calotes Linnaeus, 1758 

Four species of Calotes (Calotes grandisquamis, C. nemoricola, Calotes cf. versicolor, Calotes calotes) are known from the Western Ghats of which two are endemic to this region.

Calotes versicolor group


Content. Calotes bachae Hartmann, Geissler, Poyarkov, Ihlow, Galoyan, Rödder & Böhme, 2013; C. bhutanensis Biswas, 1975; C. calotes (Linnaeus, 1758); C. ceylonensis Müller, 1887; C. chincollium Vindum, 2003; C. desilvai Bahir & Maduwage, 2005; C. emma; C. grandisquamis, C. hutunwini Zug & Vindum, 2006; C. irawadi Zug, Grown, Schulte & Vindum, 2006; C. jerdoni Günther, 1870; C. liocephalus Günther, 1872; C. liolepis Boulenger, 1885; C. versicolor (Daudin, 1802), C. manamendrai Amarasinghe & Karunarathna, 2014; C. maria Gray, 1845; C. medgoensis Zhao & Li, 1984; C. minor, C. mystaceus Duméril & Bibron, 1837; C. nemoricola Jerdon, 1853, C. nigrilabris Peters, 1860; C. nigriplicatus Hallermann, 2000 and C. pethiyagodai Amarasinghe, Karunarathna, Hallermann, Fujinuma, Grillitsch & Campbell, 2014.


FIGURE 7. Lateral photograph showing live coloration of
 A. adult male Monilesaurus acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov. and B. adult male Monilesaurus montanus sp. nov. 

Monilesaurus gen. nov. 
Type species. Calotes rouxii (Duméril & Bibron, 1837)

 Content. Monilesaurus ellioti comb. nov., Monilesaurus montanus gen. et sp. nov., Monilesaurus rouxii comb. nov. and Monilesaurus acanthocephalus gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The genus epithet is derived by adding the word ‘Monile’ meaning necklace in Latin referring to the distinct neck fold in this genus and the Greek word sauros meaning lizard which is latinized here as saurus.

Monilesaurus rouxii (Duméril & Bibron, 1837) comb.nov. 
Calotes rouxii—Duméril & Bibron, 1837. Erp. Gen, iv, 1837: 407. 
Calotes ellioti—(not of Günther) Stoliczka, 1872. J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. (2) xli, 1872: 113. 
Calotes rouxii—Smith, 1935. Fauna of British India, ii, 1935: 206.

Monilesaurus ellioti (Günther, 1864) comb. nov. 
Calotes rouxii—(not of Dum. & Bibr., 1837), Jerdon, 1853. J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. (2) xxii, 1853: 471 
Calotes ellioti—Günther, 1864. Rept. Brit. Ind. 1864: 142. 
Bronchocela indica—Theobald, 1876. Cat. Rept. Brit. Ind. 1876: 105. 
Calotes elliotti—Smith, 1935. Fauna of British India, ii, 1935: 207.

Monilesaurus acanthocephalus gen. et. sp. nov. 
 Etymology. The species epithet is derived by combining the Greek word ‘acanthos’, meaning spine or thorn, and ‘kephale’ latinized as ‘cephalus’ meaning head; referring to the long posterorbital and supratympanic spines.


Monilesaurus montanus gen. et. sp. nov. 
 Etymology. The species epithet is derived from the word ‘montane’ referring to the restricted distribution of this species to high elevation forests (> 1500 m a.s.l).


Psammophilus Fitzinger, 1843
Type species: Agama dorsalis (Gray, 1845) 

Content: Psammophilus dorsalis, Psammophilus blanfordanus (Stoliczka, 1871)
Etymology: None provided but probably from Latin “Psammo” meaning sand and “Philus” meaning loving.

Psammophilus dorsalis (Gray, 1831) (Fig. 8a)
Agama dorsalis –Gray, 1831. In Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon’s Anim. King. ix, 1851: 56 
Charasia dorsalis– Gray, 1845. Cat. Liz. Brit. Mus. 1845: 246. 
Charasia dorsalis—Boulenger, 1885. Cat. Liz. Brit. Mus. 1845: 450. 
Psammophilus dorsalis—Smith, 1935. Fauna of British India, ii, 1935: 209. 


FIGURE 8. Lateral photograph showing live coloration of  adult female Microauris aurantolabium comb. nov.


Microauris gen. nov.  
Type species. Calotes aurantolabium (Krishnan, 2008) 

Etymology. The genus epithet is derived by adding the word ‘Micro’ as a prefix to the Latin word ‘auris’ meaning ear, referring to the extremely small tympanum of this genus.

Suggested English. Small-eared dragon


Saunak Pal, S.P. Vijayakumar, Kartik Shanker , Aditi Jayarajan and V. Deepak. 2018. A Systematic Revision of Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Western Ghats adds Two Genera and Reveals Two New Species. Zootaxa. 4482(3); 401–450. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4482.3.1

[Mammalogy • 2018] Climate Niche Conservatism and Complex Topography Illuminate the Cryptic Diversification of Asian Shrew‐like Moles (Uropsilus, Uropsilinae, Talpidae)


Uropsilus sp. 

in Wan, He, Jin, et al., 2018. 

Abstract
Aim: 
The drivers of extraordinary species diversity and endemism in biodiversity hotspots remain elusive. To identify such drivers, it is necessary to understand the origin of allopatric cryptic diversity that formed as an important part of the biodiversity in low‐latitude montane areas. Here, we test hypotheses regarding the patterns and processes that underlie the diversity of Asian shrew‐like moles (Uropsilus, Uropsilinae, Talpidae), which exhibit strikingly high cryptic diversity. Specifically, we test the hypotheses that niche conservatism and complex topography explain the largely cryptic diversification of these small montane mammals.

Location: 
The mountains of Southwest China (MSC), which are a biodiversity hotspot, and adjacent areas.

Materials and methods: 
A total of 186 specimens that include all seven species of Uropsilus were collected from key geographical areas of the MSC. One mitochondrial and six nuclear genes were sequenced for phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses. We reconstructed the phylogeny and delimited species boundaries within Uropsilus using multiple methods. We also tested the hypothesis of phylogenetic niche conservatism and examined the effect of topography on genetic divergence. Furthermore, we implemented a hierarchical examination of spatial‐temporal dynamics in our study system.

Results: 
Phylogenetic and species delimitation analyses discovered vastly more cryptic diversity than had been identified in morphology‐based taxonomy. Significant niche similarity between sibling phylogroups was detected and the genetic structure of Uropsilus accorded well with the topography of the MSC. Relatively stable biogeographical diffusion and demography, as well as in situ persistence during the last glacial cycle, were detected.

Main conclusions: 
Our analysis indicates that much genetic diversification has occurred without evident niche divergence; hence topographical diversity has provided strongly geographical isolation and ecological gradients which reinforce niche conservatism for sedentary organisms. Cryptic species, as the consequence of a lack of variability in the traits, is attributed to stabilizing selection by the optimal ecological and/or climatic envelopes over evolutionary time‐scales. Our findings indicate that global biodiversity in certain areas could be underestimated. Analyses of other biological systems can determine the universality of niche conservatism in the mountains of Southwest China.

KEYWORDS: Asian shrew-like moles, cryptic diversity, mountains of Southwest China, niche conservatism, phylogeography, sky islands, Uropsilus




Tao Wan, Kai He, Wei Jin, Shao‐Ying Liu, Zhong‐Zheng Chen, Bin Zhang, Robert W. Murphy and Xue‐Long Jiang. 2018. Climate Niche Conservatism and Complex Topography Illuminate the Cryptic Diversification of Asian Shrew‐like Moles. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13401  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Leptobrachella bondangensis & L. fusca • Two New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella (Anura: Megophryidae) from Kalimantan, Indonesia


Leptobrachella bondangensis
 Eto, Matsui, Hamidy, Mumir & Iskandar, 2018


Abstract
Two new species of the dwarf litter frog genus Leptobrachella are described from North and Central Kalimantan, Indonesian part of the Borneo Island. Leptobrachella fusca n. sp. from Bulungan Regency, differs from all congeneric species in the following combination of characters: body small (SVL: 16.3 mm in a male); dorsum uniformly dark brown; sides of body without marking; a series of elongate ventrolateral glands present on flank; ventrum darkly pigmented except for throat and posterior portion; lineae masculinae invisible through ventral skin in preservative; and toe webs rudimentary. Leptobrachella bondangensis n. sp. from Gunung (=Mt.) Bondang of Murung Raya Regency, is distinct in possessing the following combination of characters: body large as this genus (SVL: 17.8 mm in a male); dorsum grayish brown; sides of body without dark blotches; a sparse series of rounded ventrolateral glands present on flunk; ventrum pale gray with dark mottles; lineae masculinae invisible through ventral skin in preservative; and toe webs rudimentary.

Keywords: Borneo, Kalimantan, Leptobrachella, New species, Taxonomy


Leptobrachella fusca  n. sp. 
Dorsal, lateral and ventral views of male holotypes (A–C, MZB Amph 9089).
Scale bar=10 mm.

Leptobrachella fusca n. sp.
Leptobrachella myobergi: Iskandar, 2004: 10 (part).

Etymology: The specific epithet “fusca”, a Latin word meaning dark or black, is derived from uniformly dark ventral coloration of the new species.



Leptobrachella bondangensis n. sp. 
 Dorsal, lateral and ventral views of male holotypes (D–F: MZB Amph 26212). 

Leptobrachella bondangensis n. sp.

Etymology: The specific name is derived from its type locality, Gunung Bondang.


Koshiro Eto, Masafumi Matsui, Amir Hamidy, Misbahul Mumir and Djoko Iskandar. 2018. Two New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Kalimantan, Indonesia.  Current Herpetology. 37(2); 95-105. DOI: 10.5358/hsj.37.95

[Crustacea • 2018] Karstarma malang • A New Sesarmid Crab of the Genus Karstarma (Decapoda: Brachyura) Associated with Limestone Formations in East Java, Indonesia


Karstarma malang
Wowor & Ng, 2018

  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4482.2.7  

Abstract
A new stygobitic sesarmid crab species is described from underground freshwater cave streams in the southern Malang karst range on the south coast of East Java Province, Indonesia. Karstarma malang n. sp. is morphologically most similar to K. jacobsoni (Ihle, 1912) from an underground river cave system in the southern coast of the Special Region of Yogyakarta Province in central Java, but differs in having a relatively larger cornea, less swollen ocular peduncle which lacks a ridge along the median part, proportionately shorter ambulatory legs and a more slender male first gonopod. This paper increases the number of the species of Karstarma Davie & Ng, 2007, to 16; the new species being the eighth of the genus from Indonesia. It is also the third species which has a distinctly reduced cornea.

Keywords: Crustacea, Sesarmidae, Karstarma malang, new species, karst, caves, Java, Indonesia




Daisy Wowor and Peter K. L. Ng. 2018. A New Sesarmid Crab of the Genus Karstarma (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) Associated with Limestone Formations in East Java, Indonesia.  Zootaxa. 4482(2); 355–366.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4482.2.7

[Ichthyology • 2018] Monopterus rongsaw • A New Species of Hypogean Swamp Eel (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae) from the Khasi Hills in Northeast India


Monopterus rongsaw
Britz, Sykes, Gower & Kamei, 2018


 A new species of hypogean swamp eel, Monopterus rongsaw, is described from the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, India. It was discovered while digging rock-strewn and moist soil close to a small stream during attempts to find caecilians. The new species differs from other synbranchids by the combination of absence of skin pigmentation, the eyes being tiny and covered by skin, and a count of 92 precaudal and 69 caudal vertebrae.




Ralf Britz, Dan Sykes, David J. Gower and Rachunliu G. Kamei. 2018. Monopterus rongsaw, A New Species of Hypogean Swamp Eel from the Khasi Hills in Northeast India (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. IEF-1086:1-12

New species of blind eel that burrows through the soil discovered

[Botany • 2018] Thismia kobensis (Thismiaceae) • A New and Presumably Extinct Species from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan


 Thismia kobensis Suetsugu

in Suetsugu, Nakanishi, Kobayashi & Kurosaki, 2018

Thismia Griffith (1844: 221), Thismiaceae J. Agardh or Burmanniaceae sensu APG VI (2016), is one of the most species-rich mycoheterotrophic genera, consisting of ca. 80 species (Jonker 1948, Merckx et al. 2013). Considering that most of these species were collected only once (Jonker 1948) and that many new species have recently been discovered in various Asian countries (e.g. Suetsugu et al. 2017, 2018), many more undescribed species are likely in these regions.

Oxygyne Schlechter (1906: 140) is a rare, mycoheterotrophic plant genus that consists of six species. It has one of the most remarkable distributions of all angiosperm genera and is disjunct between Japan and western Central Africa (Cheek et al. 2018). Although O. hyodoi Abe & Akasawa (1989: 161) was described based on the specimens discovered in Ehime Prefecture, Kobayashi & Kurosaki (1993) noted that a specimen that was morphologically similar to O. hyodoi was also discovered in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. However, the specimen differed from O. hyodoi in many features. As noted by Tsukaya (2016), characters such as the prominent annulus on the perianth tube suggested that it may not even belong to the genus Oxygyne. In addition, although it was identified as O. hyodoi based on its short perianth lobes (Kurosaki, personal communication), such flowers have also been noted in the genus Thismia (Tsukaya 2016). Therefore, it is highly probable that the specimen collected in Kobe was not O. hyodoi, but a Thismia species (Tsukaya 2016). 

So far, only one specimen of the putatively unknown Thismia species has been found, and two of the three inner perianth-lobes in this specimen were broken. In addition, the population was almost certainly destroyed during construction of an industrial complex, and no additional specimens have been found. Fortunately, the other parts of this specimen, including an inner perianth-lobe and all three of the outer perianth-lobes were completely preserved, so we conducted a taxonomic investigation using this specimen. Careful examination revealed that the unknown plant actually belongs to the genus Thismia. Here, we describe it as a new species, Thismia kobensis Suetsugu, as this specimen was found to have a significantly different floral morphology from the other known Thismia species. In addition, the unknown species belonged to the section Rodwaya Schlechter (1921: 38), as it had the vermiform, creeping roots, the inner perianth lobes without free filiform appendages and inner perianth lobes connivent at their apex. Here, we describe it as a new species, with discussions on the taxonomic validity of the section Glaziocharis (Taub. ex Warm.) Hatusima (1976: 4). 


FIGURE 2.  Thismia kobensis (from the holotype).
 A–B. Flowering plant. C. Flower, upper view. D. Flattened perianth tube. E. Stamens, inner view. F. Stamens, outer view. G. Style and stigma. Two broken inner perianth lobes are indicated by the dotted lines in A, B and D. 
Drawn by Kumi Hamasaki. Bar = 1 mm.

FIGURE 1.  Thismia kobensis (holotype) from the type locality.

Thismia kobensis Suetsugu, sp. nov. 
Type:— JAPAN, Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe City, Nishi-ku, Oshibedani-cho, Komi, ...alt. 200 m, 10 June 1992, Nakanishi & Kobayashi 22380 (holotype: HYO, in spirit collection).

Thismia kobensis is close to T. huangii Jiang & Hsieh (2011: 139) from Taiwan but differs in having a hexagonal prismatic perianth tube, white tepals and free stamens

 Distribution:— Japan (so far known from only type locality). 

Preliminary conservation status:— Extinct (EX). Thisima kobensis is known from only a single individual at Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. The specimen was collected in secondary forest dominated by Quercus serrata and Q. glauca in 10 June 1992. Although intensive surveys of the population discovered in June were conducted from 1992 to 1999, we did not discover additional T. kobensis plants. In 1999, the area was completely destroyed during the construction of an industrial complex. Since then, we have searched the surrounding intact areas in June each year but have failed to record any individuals. It is highly likely that the last individual has died, and this taxon is presumed extinct, although we need further efforts to discover additional individuals.

Notes:— According to Jonker (1938), Thismia kobensis belongs to the section Rodwaya, as it has vermiform and creeping roots, inner perianth lobes without free filiform appendages and inner perianth lobes that are connivent apically. In the section Rodwaya, T. kobensis is most similar to T. huangii from Taiwan, in having a dark-orange annulus, yellow and truncate connectives with hairs, stigma lobes with hairs and no nectaries. However, it is easily distinguished from T. huangii in having a hexagonal prismatic and less hairy perianth tube (vs. urn-shaped and densely hairy perianth tube), white tepals (vs. pale orange to yellow), and stamens free from each other (vs. adnate, forming a tube around the style). 

In addition, in having the stamens free from each other, T. kobensis is somewhat similar to T. abei (Akasawa) Hatusima (1976: 7) that belongs to the section Glaziocharis. So far, free stamens have not been reported in any species of Thismia except T. abei. However, T. kobensis clearly differs from T. abei in having a hexagonal prismatic perianth tube (vs. urn-shaped perianth tube), dark orange prominent annulus (white inconspicuous annulus), yellow rectangular connective (vs. white spatulate connective), outer perianth lobes without filiform appendages (vs. outer perianth lobes with long filiform appendages). Because appendages of the outer perianth lobes are considered a diagnostic character to distinguish sections Glaziocharis and Rodwaya (Kumar et al. 2017), we believe that T. kobensis is a member of Rodwaya. However, it should also be noted that several recent molecular studies suggested that the appendages of perianth lobes have little systematic significance in Thismia (Hunt et al. 2014, Merckx & Smets 2014, Kumar et al. 2017, Sochor et al. 2018). Actually, molecular results have clearly suggested that section Glaziocharis is not monophyletic and should be incorporated in section Rodwaya (Hunt et al. 2014, Merckx & Smets 2014, Kumar et al. 2017). Both our results (i.e., similarity of stamen morphology between T. kobensis and T. abei) and molecular analyses indicate that it is not necessary to distinguish Glaziocharis and Rodwaya as distict sections. 

Given that mycoheterotrophic plants are highly dependent on the activities of both the fungi and the trees that sustain them (Suetsugu et al. 2014, 2017b), they are particularly sensitive to environmental disturbance. Therefore, most mycoheterotrophic species are rare and seriously endangered. Furthermore, our study clearly indicated that some mycoheterotrophic plants have become extinct before being described. As the precise identification of most mycoheterotrophic plants requires detailed observations of floral organs that are hidden in the perianth tube (Tsukaya & Hidayat 2016, Suetsugu 2017a, b), re-examination of herbarium specimens will be useful for understanding both past and current diversity of the mycoheterotrophic flora. 


Kenji Suetsugu, Osamu Nakanishi, Tomiki Kobayashi and Nobuhira Kurosaki. 2018. Thismia kobensis (Burmanniaceae), A New and Presumably Extinct Species from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.  Phytotaxa.  369(2); 121–125. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.369.2.6

New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct  kobe-u.ac.jp/research_at_kobe_en/NEWS/news/2018_09_13_01.html | Research at Kobe @KobeU_Global
New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct  phys.org/news/2018-09-species-museum-extinct.html via @physorg_com